In the 60s and 70s cries for an end to segregation and an end to the Vietnam War spawned folk and protest songs all across the land. It was a heady time in our history. Never before had our youth taken such an active role in American politics, challenging its mores and pretensions. The results were often painful - churches bombed, children killed and crowds dispersed with tear gas.
Through it all music became the common thread that brought people together, entertained them and gave them solace. Even while planning a rally or demonstration, music was playing in the background on LP records. Many of these songs were sung during protest marches as a rallying cry - and perhaps as a way to soothe the raw grip of fear.
I am not so old that I can't remember what happened yesterday but I don't remember a time when popular music was so prolific, where the listener could actually understand the lyrics and where the melody would live on for days or weeks after hearing it and where it played such a major role in the social agenda. So, to relax and have a little fun on the weekends, I would like to offer up a tribute to a particular artist and their song, or songs, each Saturday night.
There is a dear man who's quiet courage I've always admired. In 1956 he and seven others, including Arthur Miller, were cited for contempt for failing to cooperate with the House Unamerican Activities Committee. That took guts. Pete Seeger, who just turned 90, is still enriching our lives with his music.